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Nov 30, 2019

Etienne Breaks ACC TD Record, Clemson Dominates South Carolina 38-3

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. –  No. 3/3 Clemson defeated South Carolina 38-3 at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday afternoon, completing the eighth undefeated regular season in school history and the third time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. The win marks the 27th consecutive victory for Clemson (12-0, 8-0 ACC) and the sixth in a row against the Gamecocks (4-8, 3-5 SEC). Travis Etienne (53) broke the ACC career total and rushing touchdowns record with a three-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

Etienne accounted for 51 rushing yards on 15 attempts and two rushing touchdowns. With the two touchdown performance, Etienne (53) breaks the ACC record for career rushing touchdowns held by Pitt’s James Conner (52). Trevor Lawrence completed 26-of-36 passes and 295 yards. The sophomore threw three touchdowns, extending his streak of consecutive games with three touchdown passes to seven. Lawrence also rushed for a career best 66-yards. Lawrence set a school record with 18 consecutive completions, which ties an ACC record. 

Tee Higgins hauled in his ninth and tenth receiving touchdowns of the year, making him the first Clemson receiver to post back-to-back seasons of double digit touchdown receptions. Justyn Ross also added a 16-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 21-3 lead. 

The Clemson defense held South Carolina to only 174 total yards and only 73-yards in the second half. Derion Kendrick recorded his second interception of the season, and Isaiah Simmons added 10 total tackles, two of them being for a loss and a sack. 

Clemson will travel to take on Virgina in the ACC Championship game on Dec. 7 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff is set for 7:30 P.M. on ABC. 


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Game Notes

  • Clemson has now recorded a seven-game streak of 30-point wins to tie the longest streak in the AP Poll era (since 1936), per ESPN Stats & Info, matching Houston in 2011 and Michigan in 1976.
  • The 35-point margin of victory was Clemson’s seventh largest in series history and its largest since a 49-point win against the Gamecocks in 2016.
  • Clemson entered the contest having won its last three games in the series against South Carolina by at least 21 points (49 points in 2016, 24 points in 2017 and 21 points in 2018). The fourth consecutive win of 21 points of more marks the longest streak of 21-point victories in the series by either team.
  • The three points allowed are the fewest by Clemson in the series since shutting out South Carolina in 1989. Clemson allowed 179 yards, the fewest allowed by Clemson in the series since that 1989 contest (155).
  • Clemson held a 12th straight opponent below 300 yards of total offense to open the season. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Clemson is the first team in searchable data dating back to 1996 to open a season by holding its first 12 opponents to 300 or fewer yards. Ohio State had held its first 11 opponents this year under 300 yards but gave up 396 yards at Michigan on Saturday.
  • Clemson has now held 15 consecutive opponents to 20 or fewer points for the first time since a 31-game streak across the 1937-40 seasons under Hall of Fame coaches Jess Neely and Frank Howard.
  • Clemson held a 10th consecutive opponent below 200 passing yards for the first time since the final 10 games of the 1977 regular season. 
  • Clemson won the turnover margin, 1-0, and has now won the turnover margin in seven consecutive games for the first time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
  • Clemson won the turnover margin for a ninth time overall this season, which matched the 2013 squad for Clemson’s most such games in a season under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
  • Clemson gained 527 yards and reached 500 yards in a seventh straight game for the first time since an 11-game streak to end the 2015 season.
  • Clemson did not turn the ball over and has produced zero giveaways in four of the last five games.
  • Clemson (6,501) has now posted the eighth 6,000-yard season in Clemson history. All but one of the eight 6,000-yard seasons have come in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure. 
  • Clemson has now thrown three or more touchdowns in seven straight games for the first time in school history.
  • Clemson’s second touchdown of the game, a 65-yard touchdown pass, was Clemson’s 70th touchdown of the season, as the 2019 squad produced the fourth 70-touchdown season in school history to join the 2018 (90), 2016 (75) and 2015 (71) campaigns. Clemson’s 73 touchdowns this season have been scored by 18 different players.
  • During the contest, Clemson (3,077) reached 3,000 rushing yards on the season to record the seventh 3,000-yard rushing season in program history.
  • Clemson rushed for multiple touchdowns in a 13th consecutive game for the first time since a 15-game streak across the 2016-17 seasons.
  • Clemson outpassed South Carolina, 316-105, and produced more passing yards than its opponent in a 15th consecutive game, dating to last season, for the first time since an 18-game streak across the 2015-17 seasons.
  • Quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 26-of-36 passes for 295 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed eight times for a career-high 66 yards.
  • Lawrence’s 361 combined yards of total offense were the fourth-most of his career and his second-most of the season (437 at Syracuse).
  • Lawrence has now thrown a touchdown pass in 22 consecutive games. His current streak is the longest active streak in the country. (Note: UCF’s McKenzie Milton had a 24-game streak prior to suffering an injury in November 2018 that will likely preclude him from playing in 2019).
  • Lawrence (30) threw three touchdowns to tie his single-season career high in passing touchdowns (30), set as a freshman last year.
  • Lawrence’s third touchdown pass was his 30th of the season, as he joined Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson as the only players in school history to throw 30 touchdown passes in multiple seasons.
  • Lawrence has now thrown three touchdown passes in seven consecutive games for the first time in his career. He had already been the first Clemson quarterback to accomplish the feat in six straight games.
  • Lawrence set a school record for consecutive completions in a single game, completing 18 consecutive passes to break the mark held by Cullen Harper (15 vs. Central Michigan in 2007) and Kelly Bryant (15 vs. Miami in 2017).
  • Lawrence’s 18 consecutive completions tied ACC single-game records held by Virginia’s Michael Rocco (vs. Miami in 2012) and North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky (vs. James Madison in 2016).
  • Lawrence entered the contest having thrown 111 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, dating to the first quarter at Louisville on Oct. 19, a streak he pushed to 147. Since the start of the second quarter at Louisville, Lawrence is 112-of-147 for 1,564 yards with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 202.4 in that span.
  • During the game, Lawrence (475) passed Nealon Greene (458) and 12 passes to pass No. 5 Woodrow Dantzler (460) on Clemson’s leaderboard for career pass completions.
  • Running back Travis Etienne rushed 15 times for 51 yards with two rushing touchdowns.
  • Etienne scored a two-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter and a three-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
  • Etienne rushed for a touchdown in a sixth straight game for the first time since the final five games of 2018 and the 2019 season opener. It tied that streak by Etienne and a six-game streak produced by Woodrow Dantzler in 2000 for the seventh-longest streak in school history.
  • The first rushing touchdown was Etienne’s 15th rushing touchdown of the season, as he became the first player in Clemson history to rush for at least 15 touchdowns in multiple seasons in a career.
  • The second rushing touchdown was Etienne’s 53rd of his career, breaking the ACC record for career rushing touchdowns held by Pitt’s James Conner. He also broke Conner’s ACC record for career total touchdowns (56). 
  • Etienne (342) also passed Conner (338) as the highest-scoring non-kicker in ACC history and now trails only 11 kickers in career scoring in conference history.
  • Etienne (1,386 this year) passed Raymond Priester for third on Clemson’s single-season rushing yardage leaderboard.
  • Etienne recorded his first kickoff return of the season on the game’s opening kick, gaining 32 yards. It was his first kickoff return since the 2018 Sugar Bowl to conclude the 2017 season.
  • Etienne (4,673) recorded 138 all-purpose yards in the game and passed Andre Ellington (4,586) for fourth on Clemson’s leaderboard for career all-purpose yards.
  • Wide receiver Tee Higgins caught three passes for 101 yards with two receiving touchdowns.
  • The 100-yard receiving game was Higgins’ third of the season and seventh of his career. 
  • Higgins opened the scoring with a 10-yard receiving touchdown from Lawrence in the first quarter. It was his 23rd career touchdown reception.
  • During the game, Higgins (2,181) passed Hunter Renfrow (2,133) for 11th on Clemson’s career receiving yardage list.
  • On Clemson’s next drive, Higgins recorded a 65-yard touchdown reception from Lawrence.
  • The touchdown was Clemson’s ninth covering 50 yards or more this season, tied for its sixth-most in a season since 1950. 
  • Higgins has now caught multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, becoming the first Clemson receiver to catch multiple touchdown passes in back-to-back games since Deon Cain vs. Louisville and Boston College in 2016.
  • Higgins’ second touchdown reception was his 10th of the season. Including his 12 touchdown receptions in 2018, Higgins is now the first player in school history to post double-digit touchdown receptions in consecutive seasons. He joins Sammy Watkins (2011 and 2013) as the only players in school history to post 10 or more touchdown receptions in multiple seasons in a career.
  • Higgins has now caught a touchdown in four straight games for the first time this season. He caught touchdown passes in five straight games across the final four games of the 2018 season and the 2019 season opener.
  • Wide receiver Justyn Ross caught a career-high nine passes for 111 yards with a touchdown. The nine passes surpassed his seven-catch performance vs. Texas A&M earlier this season.
  • The 100-yard receiving game was Ross’ first of the season and the fourth of his career.
  • Ross recorded a 16-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. The touchdown reception was his seventh of the season and 16th of his career. He is now one touchdown shy of tying Perry Tuttle (17 from 1978-81) for 10th-most career receiving touchdowns in Clemson history.
  • With Higgins and Ross, Clemson had two receivers record 100 receiving yards in a single game for the first time since 2017, when Higgins and Deon Cain accomplished the feat against The Citadel.
  • Including 60 yards in the game, Lyn-J Dixon (572) has now broken his single-season career high in rushing yards (547) set as a freshman last season.
  • Clemson opened the game with a 14-play drive, its longest of the season and longest since an 18-play drive on the final possession of last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. 
  • Clemson finished the first quarter with a 14-0 lead and has now outscored opponents 156-10 in the opening frame this season. Clemson’s 12.1-point average first-quarter differential is the largest in the country this season.
  • Cornerback Derion Kendrick ended South Carolina’s first possession by recording his second interception of the season. It was Clemson’s second opening-drive takeaway of the season, joining K’Von Wallace’s opening-drive interception at Louisville on Oct. 19.
  • With Kendrick’s interception, Clemson produced a takeaway for a seventh consecutive game and for the 15th time in 16 games, dating to 2018.
  • Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, a Bednarik and Nagurski finalist, posted 10 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup. His 10 tackles were one shy of his season high set at Syracuse.
  • Defensive tackle Jordan Williams pushed his season sack total to 2.5 and career sack total to 4.0. 
  • Kicker B.T. Potter recorded a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter.
  • Captains for the contest were offensive lineman Gage Cervenka, safety Denzel Johnson, defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney, offensive lineman John Simpson.


With the Win...

  • Clemson completed its eighth undefeated regular season in school history, joining the 1900 (6-0), 1906 (4-0-3), 1948 (10-0), 1950 (8-0-1), 1981 (11-0), 2015 (12-0) and 2018 (12-0) Clemson squads. It marks Clemson’s sixth time finishing a regular season without any losses or ties.
  • Clemson has now opened a season 12-0 for only the fourth time, joining a 12-0 record in every game of the 1981 season and a 12-0 mark in the first 12 games of the 2015 and 2018 seasons.
  • Clemson won its first 12 games of a season for the third time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney (2015 and 2018). Swinney was already the first coach in Clemson history to coach the school to multiple 12-0 starts. Danny Ford accomplished the feat once during Clemson’s 1981 national championship campaign.
  • With their 12th win, the 2019 Tigers tied the 1981 and 2017 squads for the fourth-most wins in a season in school history.
  • Clemson earned its 115th victory this decade to join Alabama and Ohio State of the 2010s and Penn and Yale of the 1890s as the only major college football programs since 1890 to win 115 games in a single decade.
  • The 2019 Clemson seniors won their 53rd game to tie the 2017 Alabama seniors for third-most in FBS history in a four-year span. The group matched the 2018 Alabama seniors as the fastest to 53 wins (56 games).
  • Clemson won its 27th consecutive game, dating to the start of the 2018 season, to extend the longest winning streak in school history and second-longest winning streak in ACC history. The 27-game winning streak now stands in sole possession of the 18th-longest streak in major college football history.
  • The victory was Clemson’s 10th against a Power Five conference opponent this season, the most in the country. Clemson finished the regular season having won its 10 games against Power Five opponents by an average margin of 33.5 points, including eight victories of 31 or more points.
  • Clemson improved to 71-42-4 all-time against South Carolina. Clemson’s 71 all-time wins against South Carolina are the program’s most against any opponent.
  • Clemson has now recorded six consecutive wins against South Carolina for the first time since a seven-game streak from 1934-40. That seven-game streak stands as the longest winning streak in the series by either team.
  • Clemson’s 2019 senior class became the 14th class in school history to defeat South Carolina in four consecutive seasons, joining the 1900, 1919, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1983, 1991, 2000, 2005, 2017 and 2018 seniors.
  • Clemson moved its all-time road record against South Carolina to 52-32-3. Clemson’s 52 road wins at South Carolina are more than double its most all-time road wins against any other opponent. Clemson’s second-most road wins against an opponent is 25 at Wake Forest.
  • Clemson won a third straight road game against South Carolina for the first time since defeating the Gamecocks on the road three times across the 2003-07 seasons.
  • Head Coach Dabo Swinney improved to 7-5 all-time against South Carolina and became the first Clemson coach with wins against the Gamecocks in six straight years since Jess Neely accomplished the feat in his final six games in the series from 1934-39.
  • Swinney became the fourth coach in Clemson history to defeat South Carolina seven times, joining Frank Howard (13), Danny Ford (7) and Tommy Bowden (7).
  • Clemson improved to 10-1 against SEC competition since 2016 and won its 10th straight regular season game against SEC competition. Clemson’s last regular season loss to an SEC team came against Georgia in 2014.
  • Clemson won its 12th straight true road game, the longest active streak in the country, to tie the school-record 12-game streak from 2015-17.
  • Clemson earned its 24th victory in its last 25 true road games and its 37th victory in its last 40 games away from home.
  • Clemson won its 23rd consecutive regular season non-conference game. Clemson’s current streak against non-conference opponents in the regular season dates to a 73-7 win against South Carolina State on Sept. 6, 2014. No member of Clemson’s current roster has lost a non-conference game in regular season play.
  • Clemson concluded its regular season on a 29-game regular season winning streak, the longest active streak in the country. Clemson’s current regular season winning streak started following a regular season loss at Syracuse on Oct. 13, 2017. 
  • Clemson improved to 49-0 when scoring first since 2015.
  • Clemson has now won 77 of its last 79 games when leading at halftime.
  • Clemson improved to 98-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters.
  • Clemson now has a 98-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011.
  • Clemson improved to 44-1 since 2015 when outscoring opponents in the “Middle Eight,” defined as the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half. Clemson outscored South Carolina, 10-0, in that time window.
  • Clemson now has a 56-3 record when winning the turnover margin since 2011.
  • Clemson improved to 64-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
  • Clemson is now 50-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
  • Clemson has now won 80 straight games when holding teams under 23 points (dates to 2010).
  • Clemson pushed its winning streak in Saturday games to 41 to extend the longest Saturday winning streak in school history. Clemson’s current run of consecutive Saturday victories is the longest active streak in the country.
  • Clemson concluded the month having won 14 games in a row in November.
  • Clemson has now won 73 of its last 75 games against unranked teams.

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